Results for Sub Pop

interviews

The Vaselines

The Vaselines join Jim and Greg in the studio this week. The Scottish indie pop group was founded in 1986 by Eugene Kelly and then girlfriend Francis McKee. And then only three years, two singles, and one album later, the couple and the band broke up. But their sound managed to make its way across the pond, getting college radio airplay and the notice of emerging bands likes Mudhoney and Nirvana. In fact, Nirvana would go on to cover a number of Vaselines tracks, including "Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam," which they performed on MTV Unplugged in New York. Cobain convinced the band to briefly reunite and open for Nirvana in 1990. Now two decades later, the Vaselines are back together with a new Sub Pop release called Sex with an X. That's a lot of effort to avoid the sophomore slump. Eugene, Francis and the band perform tracks from the album, as well as an old gem. Check out the songs and the videos.

Go to episode 276

Blitzen Trapper

A few weeks ago Greg recommend our Rock Doctors patients check out Furr by Blitzen Trapper. Now we have the band live in our studio for a conversation and acoustic performance. The Portland indie rock band, led by Eric Earley, has been gaining momentum after touring with Sub Pop label mate Fleet Foxes. Blitzen Trapper's music is often compared to classic American rock of the late '60s and early '70s. But as Earley explains, every musician is influenced by the past. And despite a familiar sound, there's still a sense of mystery and originality. You can hear it in the songs the band performs live in our studio.

Go to episode 175

The Gotobeds

After playing for years in the Pittsburgh punk band Kim Phuc, guitarist and vocalist Eli Kasan formed The Gotobeds along with guitarst Tom Payne, bassist Gavin Jensen, and drummer Cary Belback. The band quickly gained a following for its mix of funny, yet sophisticated, lyrics and post-punk artiness (Jim gleefully points out that they named themselves after the drummer for Wire). Their debut album Poor People are Revolting was released in 2014, followed by their Red Hot Chili Peppers-riffing Sub Pop release Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic in 2016. Both albums made it into Jim's top ten lists for their respective years. The Gotobeds join Jim and Greg for a live performance and a discussion about commercialism in indie rock, the Pittsburgh scene, and not taking yourself too seriously.

Go to episode 586

Iron & Wine

Sam Beam, otherwise known as Iron & Wine, has been making acoustic and indie folk music for over 15 years. He hails from the South and was actually working as a college film professor when he got the call that the famous music label Sub Pop wanted to sign him based on his demo. His debut record, The Creek Drank the Cradle, was released in 2002 and he did everything on it from writing, producing, playing the instruments, vocals and more. Sam Beam has released six studio albums to date and recently collaborated with singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop.

Sam is also married and a father to five daughters. In 2017, he released his latest album Beast Epic. Jim and Greg interviewed him in front of an audience at the Goose Island Barrelhouse where he also gave a live performance.

Go to episode 633
reviews
Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes available on iTunes

Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes

The latest band to break out on the Sub Pop label is Fleet Foxes. While they haven't reached Nirvana or Shins status, Jim and Greg agree that this is a band to watch. Fleet Foxes belongs to the "freak folk" music club, but Jim much prefers their deeper, more convincing sound. He loves their beautiful harmonies and melodies and is impressed by their deep influences, especially considering how young their members are. Greg agrees, adding that the sound is entirely their own, full of untraditional arrangements and dense atmosphere. Both critics give Fleet Foxes, their self-titled debut, a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 137
Destroyer of the Void (Bonus Track Version)Furr available on iTunes

Blitzen Trapper Furr

Blitzen Trapper kicks off the reviews this week. Their 5th and latest album is called Destroyer of the Void. Both Jim and Greg were big fans of the 2009 Sub Pop debut Furr. Greg continues to respect singer Eric Earley's songwriting and fondness for traditional American folk sounds. But, he feels like the band is on repeat with this album. It's too predictable and only gets a Try It rating from Greg. Jim can't believe his ears. The moments of departure and growth that Greg loves are the worst parts of the record according to him. Blitzen Trapper is aping Queen, and it doesn‘t work for Jim. It’s a“disgrace”and a Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 236
The Invisible WayThe Invisible Way available on iTunes

Low The Invisible Way

There's a lot to be impressed by when it comes to Low. First, they've consistently made good records for two decades. Second, the two core members, Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk, have managed to do all that while maintaining a marriage and family. On the most recent Sub Pop release The Invisible Way, the band has tweaked the formula a bit, and for the better, according to Greg. Bassist Steve Garrington is playing a lot more piano. And Mimi is singing more. Greg loves her voice, especially on anthems like "So Blue." Professor DeRogatis has always given Low a B+, but Jim thinks The Invisible Way is an A+ masterpiece. The songwriting, and especially the religious imagery, is deeper and more ambiguous giving Low a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 384
Wincing the Night AwayWincing the Night Away available on iTunes

The Shins Wincing the Night Away

Our Rock Doctors patient and tons of fans have been anxiously awaiting The Shins' third album, Wincing the Night Away. The band got notice after its first two albums received critical praise and industry buzz. Natalie Portman's character in Garden State even proclaimed that their music would“change your life.”Now the Albuquerque band attempts to change more lives with their new Sub Pop release. Jim admits that he previously found the Shins' brand of "power-pop" more wimpy than powerful. But he thinks the band has added more depth and more kick to their sound without sacrificing their light, jangly sound or poetic lyrics. He gives the album a hearty Buy It. Greg agrees. He appreciates that despite the band's increased success and increased budget, the sound remains modest. He predicts fans will need to give Wincing the Night Away a few listens before really“getting it,”but also gives the album a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 61
lists

The Best of 2007… So Far

Jim and Greg just couldn‘t wait until the end of the year to start picking their favorite albums, so they’ve decided to name their 2007 mid-year best.

Go to episode 81
news

Music News

While this year's Fourth of July has already come and gone, the spirit of independence is still alive and kicking for indie record labels like Domino, Ninja Tune, and Sub Pop. They, and more than 700 others small labels from across the globe, recently signed the Fair Digital Deals Declaration, a manifesto of sorts that seeks to standardize the way artists and music companies deal with digital music sales. Among the five main points the signatories swear to abide are clearer explanations to artist about what their cut of digital sales will be, as well as a commitment to supporting artists who oppose their music being used without permission. Jim and Greg certainly support the intent of the quasi-policy, but they wonder what effect it will ultimately have, as there's no clear way to enforce it.

Speaking of the independent spirit, Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot isn't done raging against the Kremlin. Its two most outspoken members are now suing the Russian government in the European Court of Human Rights for the violation of their rights during their original Russian court proceedings, and for the treatment they received during the nearly two years they spent in prison following the group's“sacrilegious”protest/performance inside a Moscow cathedral in 2012. Beyond financial reparations, the members' lawsuit also wants to set the precedent that freedom of expression cannot be stifled in Russia, even though at the time of their sentencing, the majority of Russians supported punishing the women. Jim and Greg wish them the best fighting the good fight.

Check out our World Tour visit to Russia.

Go to episode 453

Music News

The London riots have hit the music industry hard. A North London warehouse owned by Sony DADC burned to the ground on Monday, and while Sony may have deep pockets, many of the smaller independent labels that stored stock at the facility do not. The fire destroyed CDs, DVDs and LPs distributed by the Pias Group. Pias serves over 160 indie labels including Domino, 4AD, Warp, Sub Pop and Chicago's own Thrill Jockey, which estimated a loss of $300,000 worth of inventory. For small labels dependent on merch sales to survive, it could be a fatal blow. A relief effort is underway at Label Love. Whether music fans' goodwill will be enough to keep these labels afloat remains to be seen.

Big changes are underway at everyone's favorite industry lobbying group. RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol has announced he will cede the throne after a decade of leadership to become head of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. He'll be replaced by Cary Sherman. Word of the change came in the form of a dumbfounding open letter, in which Bainwol proclaims a“turnaround”in the music industry's fortunes and cites some interesting statistics. He claims a 20% reduction in illegal filesharing last year and a 5-to-1 ratio of legal to illegal music consumption - numbers that Greg says fly in the face of all the stats he's seen on this. Bainwol also cites a 4% increase in revenue last month - no mention, of course, of the music industry's bottoming-out over the last decade.

Go to episode 298